So following the excitement of the new stadium, it was back to reality and a short trip north of the centre to a working class district that a lazy writer would call gritty. I am in Angyalfold, home of Vasas and the delightful, Illovszky Rudolf Stadion.
I have been here a few times before, but this is my first time in the away end. Vasas used to ply their trade in the second tier so I never got a trip with MTK. In fact, Vasas were very nearly relegated at the end of last season avoiding the drop on the last day of the season with a 2-0 victory over, guess who, MTK. Things have very much gone Leicester for Vasas since then as they went into this game sitting pretty at the top of NBI ahead of Ferencvaros, who look like a shadow of the side that won the league last year by a million points.
It transpires that this will probably be my last ever visit to this particular venue as the stadium announcer declared that this would be the penultimate game here before the place is destroyed. (After Bar Hungarian, Stadium Destruction Hungarian is my strongest area of the Hungarian language.) I could make the rest of this post, a lament to the destruction of a football heritage. After this place goes, the only two ‘old school’ stadiums left in the top flight will be those of Honved and Diosgyor (in Miskolc). Szombathely and Videoton are already playing away from home as their stadiums are being reconstructed. Fradi, Debrecen, MTK, Gyirmot and Mezokovesd are already installed at their soulless arenas. Something of the enjoyment will be taken out of the matchday experience when I have to pay double the price to sit in a new stadium which is only 20% full. It seems age makes you nostalgic and before I persuade myself that Brexit is a good thing, I will end this lament.
So man rules
We are definitely flying headlong into Autumn here in Budapest with the city cooling down and wrapping itself in a constant fog, the days drawing longer and the parks losing their verdancy (I am just showing off). This makes standing on a exposed terrace less of a pleasure and more of a chore. Still more pleasurable than choreful. My pleasure:chore football watching equilibrium is set pretty high.
MTK got off to a flier with a Vadnai, proving the left backs always have been the best finishers, by pouncing on some dreadful defending to put MTK 1-0 up inside four minutes. MTK decided that two can play at that dreadful defending game when Grgics, MTK’s centre back, left a leg out in the area with a sign saying trip over this. Penalty and an equalizer. But this MTK side was seemingly up for the fight and Vadnai came roaring down an empty right to cross to Torghelle, who finished cooly to make it 1-2 after 20 minutes. Vasas were on top up until this point and also for the rest of the half. So much on top that they scored another two goals, to send the surprisingly large crowd (of just under 4k) into some sort of frenzy of “Hajra” – “Vasas’ tennis shouting. Five goals in the first half. My eight goal in a game record was under some serious threat.
Except inevitably that was the end of the scoring. MTK pressed pretty hard in the second half, but Vasas sat in. Some more competent finishing may have seen an equalizer, but this is the Hungarian league so competent finishing is an exception rather than a rule. A late red card for Vasas gave us a glimmer of hope. But it was not to be. Vasas go well clear at the top after Fradi’s defeat away to Szombathely, but in Sopron. MTK will be looking back over their shoulder like Mike and the Mechanics in a fit of paranoia. The team is in a weird place. A spine made up of Vukmir, Kanata and Torghelle with a combined age of over 100 is not a team for the future, but with seemingly no one better coming through (I would argue Baki should be starting at the back instead of Vukmir), it is hard to see where much improvement is coming from. The two youngsters, Vogyiska and Koromzan look ok, but as yet no more than ok. Ramos seems to be fit again so perhaps can add a bit of pace into a side sorely lacking it at the moment.
And that is the last game before the return of Gy from her extended stay in Copenhagen…
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